Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University
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Student Services Recommendations

Each year in April the Dean of Students and the AVP Strategic Enrolment and University Registrar will provide an update on progress and recommendations.

April 2017 Update

Colour codes: Not initiated In progress Completed
Foundational recommendations
Service culture Planned Action(s) Progress 

Make, communicate, and hold itself accountable to an institutional commitment to improving and enhancing the student experience. (K&A recommendation)

Establish a culture of student-centered work and customer service, including but not limited to the tone of offices, how advising is delivered and discussed, how students are greeted and escorted between services, and how students are represented in communications and online. (K&A recommendation)

Establish “Communities of Practice” (CoPs) that will a) provide venues for shared expertise on topics such as Housing, Wellness, Advising, Career Success, as well as b) address relevant recommendations in the Advising and Student Services sections below. (Task Force recommendation)

A two-year “culture change” project has been funded that will create the conditions for success by

  • working with student-facing support staff across the university to understand and respond to students’ academic, personal and other needs;
  • establishing baseline measurements for student use of and satisfaction with services and programming; and
  • providing close support and monitoring of all prioritized recommendations as outlined below by bringing in relevant expertise, creating CoPs, and implementing an assessment activity.

In progress

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Advising recommendations
Technology Planned Action(s) Progress 

Implement a single, uniform, shared database for recording information about students that is accessible by all advisors, faculty, and staff who assist students with academic and personal goals. (K&A recommendation)

Involve advising staff in considering options for and selecting the provider of the student information database. (K&A recommendation)

Provide program advisors with access to the shared student information database. (K&A recommendation)

Implement an online chat function to enable students to submit questions about course selection and registration. (K&A recommendation)

A project has been funded to select and install an online advising management system. This may be an expansion of an existing tool at TRU or a new vendor product requiring RFP and purchase. It is anticipated that this system will integrate advising management system use with use of Degree Works.

In progress

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Courses and programs Planned Action(s) Progress 

Perform an audit of courses offered to ensure the accuracy and availability of course offerings, schedules, and instructors. (K&A recommendation)

Institute deadlines for additions, deletions, or changes to courses to eliminate last-minute cancellations and confusion for students. (K&A recommendation)

Upload accurate course information to the website and update it regularly.

A one-year term staff position has been funded to contribute to the alignment of curriculum resources with a particular focus on ensuring the continued implementation of DegreeWorks is based upon consistent and accurate program requirements for students. This staff member participates in appropriate working groups focused on campus implementation and curriculum review. Program requirements for all campus undergraduate programs within the scope of the DegreeWorks project have been reviewed, and discrepancies noted between website information and CurricUNET documentation.

In progress

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Student services recommendations
Space and hours Planned Action(s) Progress

Extend hours of access so that students may utilize services in the evenings when they are not in classes. (K&A recommendation)

Co-locate student services in the House of Learning—or another facility— that fosters more effective collaboration and makes it easier for students to be referred to the appropriate service. (K&A recommendation)

Have a central kiosk to assist students with accessing services. (K&A recommendation)

Provide more spaces for students to gather, eat, and/or study individually or in groups. (K&A recommendation)

A proposal is currently being developed to support the move of most student academic supports, services and engagement offices to a shared space. This proposal will also draw on recommendations from the ECS space study conducted at TRU in 2015.

Campus Security Concierge Desk has been implemented; for the summer it will be open 9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday-Friday in HOL 1st floor.

In progress

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Early alert Planned Action(s) Progress 

Implement an early alert system that helps identify students at risk academically and connects them with services more directly. (K&A recommendation)

Provide more inclusive advising and support for students at risk. (K&A recommendation)

An ongoing Early Alert Learning Strategist position has been created and funding is in place for technology to support an Early Alert program at TRU.

Complete

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Writing Centre Planned Action(s) Progress

Provide adequate funding for the Writing Centre to support on-campus and distance students (Task Force recommendation)

SIF funding is in place for Writing Centre Coordinator, graduate tutoring and online tutoring through Write-Away.

Complete

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Orientation and transitions Planned Action(s) Progress 

Commit sustainable funding and permanent staff to support new student orientation. (K&A recommendation)

Expand orientation offerings provided to all students, especially domestic students, and an option for mature students. (K&A recommendation)

Learning Strategist, Orientation and Transitions has been hired and funding is in place for co-op students and other orientation-related programming.

Complete

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Create a calendar of programming for the first year experience that provides information and resources over time. (K&A recommendation)

TRU Experience program has been implemented and uses a just-in time approach to introduce students to on-campus resources and support personnel.

Complete

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Engage upper class students as peer orientation leaders. (K&A recommendation)

Upper level Orientation Leaders are being trained and developed to support new-to-TRU students. Orientation and Transition Ambassadors are hired for the up-coming academic year to support new-to-TRU students through their transition to post-secondary.

In progress

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Increase resources for Aboriginal student orientation programming. (K&A recommendation)

Cplul’kw’ten staff are reviewing current TRU Orientation and Experience programs and identify opportunities for indigenization.

In progress

Develop and deliver a “University 100” course that introduces new students to resources on campus and covers topics that contribute to their success. (K&A recommendation)

The Writing Centre Coordinator has responsibilities for curricular rejuvenation of the Student Success suite of courses currently offered at TRU. Consideration will be given to how and when to offer these courses to best support new students.

 A summer Student Success course is being piloted in August 2017

In progress

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Marketing and communications Planned Action(s) Progress 

Centralize marketing and communications about student services, including online, so services are described as cohesive and unified. (K&A recommendation)

An existing position was reallocated to establish a Communications Coordinator position that will develop and support a centralized communication plan for all areas in the Faculty of Student Development. 

Complete

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Increase formal and informal opportunities for staff in student services and other personnel with whom they engage to meet, develop relationships and better understand roles and responsibilities (K&A recommendations)

Annual events for members of the Faculty of Student Development have been integrated into the calendar to improve knowledge of key supports and activities for students.

Monthly CUPE Staff meetings will be held to facilitate professional development, training and communication. 

A Faculty of Student Development newsletter, blog, and staff bios have been created to increase understanding of roles, develop relationships and celebrate successes. 

In progress

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Offer staff development and centralized communications (Task Force recommendation)

A Writer/ Storyteller position has been created to develop student, staff and faculty stories and communications. 

In progress

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Services for Aboriginal students Planned Action(s) Progress 

Increase support and resources for Services for Aboriginal Students, including but not limited to the Gathering Place and the creation of a sweat lodge. (K&A recommendations)

Sustainable funding has been established for positions in Cplul’kw’ten by transitioning from the provincial Aboriginal Service Plan (ASP) to the core budget. Proposals to enhance Services for Aboriginal Students (ASP) and educational initiatives have been made in the current ASP funding application.

Complete

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Provide sustainability for the Aboriginal Mentor and Aboriginal Elders Programs. (Task Force recommendation)

In progress

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Other Recommendations Planned Action(s) Progress

Develop, communicate, and consistently apply academic integrity and student misconduct policies. (K&A recommendation)

 

The Academic Integrity Committee is considering changes to processes and means for educating the student and faculty population.

 In progress

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Strengthen academic transitions through campus-wide academic peer mentor programs (Task Force recommendation)

A Mentorship Learning Strategist position was created to enliven campus-wide peer mentor programming and broaden student opportunities and credentialing.

Complete

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